Monday, 20 April 2015
Just 1100 Lancaster University students registered to vote as final deadline looms
Lancaster University magazine subtext reports on the large Lancaster University Students Union stall in Alexandra Square today, complete with model of Big Ben, encouraging Lancaster students to register to vote.
The most recent update from Lancaster City Council on 4th April was that, as of that date, despite the efforts of staff, political parties and LUSU, just 1144 Lancaster University campus residents had registered to vote under the new Individual Electoral Registration system.
"It's difficult to know the exact number potentially able to vote in a given year, due to the varying numbers of overseas students," subtext reports, "but, for example, in the 2013 County Council Elections there were 4121 campus residents on the electoral roll. That points to a current campus registration rate of 28%. Registration rates among those living off-campus appear to be similarly sluggish.
"This may reflect genuine apathy, or a genuine desire by some students to vote in the place where they grew up, but subtext suspects that the majority are simply unaware that they need to register now if they want to vote in Lancaster on 7 May.
If you think a figure of 28% sounds very poor, just to put it in perspective, indications are that the number of current University of Cumbria (Lancaster campus) residents on the electoral register may be as low as 19. No, not 19%...
This year's General Election is the tightest in decades. In Morecambe and Lunesdale alone, Tory David Morris squeezed in by 866 votes in 2010, while in Lancaster and Fleetwood, Eric Ollerenshaw won by just 333 votes.
The absolute deadline for online voter registration via https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote is 11:59pm tonight, Monday 20th April (an electronic receipt is supplied)